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Michigan Walks Out on Waters of the U.S. Lawsuit

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel Wednesday withdrew the state from an environmental case seeking to reduce the number of bodies of water protected under the federal Clean Water Act. This is the sixth federal environmental case the state has withdrawn from since Nessel took office January 1.

The lawsuit, originally filed by Nessel’s predecessor, is an effort to block a joint EPA and Army Corps of Engineers rule which clarifies which bodies of water fall under federal oversight. The 2015 rule is in effect for 22 states, including Michigan.

“As Michiganders, we have a responsibility to be good stewards of the Great Lakes and all our waterways and wetlands,” Nessel said. “While Michigan has protective regulations in place, this lawsuit sought to weaken the federal law which establishes minimum nationwide standards for protecting our shared water resources, including the Great Lakes. This was a compelling reason for us to withdraw.

“Michigan won’t be party to a lawsuit that could jeopardize the nation’s largest freshwater shoreline and all waters we’re entrusted to protect,” Nessel added. “And we certainly won’t stand a watered-down policy.”